Jewellery Care Tips

Caring for jewellery is usually a simple task of wiping your pieces gently with a soft cloth and storing them in boxes with soft linings. Below is some more detailed information that may help you to care for your precious pieces.

General protection

Wipe your jewellery with a soft cloth after you have worn it. Body oils, chemicals and dust can discolour or scratch certain gemstones. For “softer” gems (see below) you can use a gentle camel’s-hair brush (or other brushes with very soft bristles) to take care of dust, as sometimes there may be little particles that can scratch your gemstones or dull glossy finishes. Also:

  • Store your pieces in boxes or pouches lined with soft material.
  • Keep pieces from getting sharp blows or scratches and keep away from chemicals, overexposure to sunlight and chlorine (may fade some stones or cause minerals and pigments to change colour), and extreme or sudden temperature changes.
  • Be careful with nail polish remover, hairspray and perfume; don’t get these on your jewellery.

Gemstones

The durability of gemstones is measured as hardness and is based on a recognized standard called the Mohs scale. Gems that rate highly on the Mohs scale (such as diamond which rates 10) are highly durable and less likely to be scratched or to chip or flake. Gemstones with a rating of less than 7 may be susceptible to scratching or chipping. Here is the Mohs Scale:

#10 Diamond
#9 Corundum (Ruby, Sapphire)
#8 Topaz
#7 Quartz
#6 Feldspar
#5 Apatite
#4 Flourite
#3 Calcite
#2 Gypsum
#1 Talc

Here’s an expanded scale:

Diamond: …………….10
Syth. Moissanite:…….9.5
Corundum: …………….9
Cubic Zirconia: ……..8.5
Spinel: ………………8
Topaz: ……………….8
Aquamarine: ……..7.5 – 8
Beryl: ………….7.5 – 8
Emerald: ………..7.5 – 8
Almandite: ………….7.5
Garnet: …………7 – 7.5
Rhodolite: ………7 – 7.5
Tourmaline: ……..7 – 7.5
Iolite: …………7 – 7.5
Quartz Group: …………7
Andradite: ………6.5 – 7
Chalcedony: ……..6.5 – 7
Peridot: ………..6.5 – 7
Jadeite: ………..6.5 – 7
Jasper: …………6.5 – 7
Kunzite: ………..6.5 – 7
Tanzanite: ………6.5 – 7
Zircon: …………….6.5
Kyanite: ………….6 – 7
Feldspars: ………..6 – 7
Moonstone: ………6 – 6.5
Nephrite: ……….6 – 6.5
Opal: ………………5.5
Lazulite: …………5 – 6
Lapiz Lazuli: ………5- 6
Turquoise: ………..5 – 6
Apatite: ……………..5
Rhodochrosite: ………..4
Coral …………….3 – 4

Some stones, such as pearls, turqouise and opals, are porous and absorb water. If you wash or immerse these stones remember that the water will evaporate but any chemicals or minerals will remain in the stone and may cause damage. (**Note about opals: They need moisture and periodically soaking them in pure water will bring back their lustre and shine.)

Some stones can be damaged by overexposure to sunlight. These include:

Amethyst (loses colour)
Ametrine (colour may change)
Aquamarine (loses colour)
Aventurine (if translucent, may lose colour)
Beryl (brown or orange may change to pale pink)
Citrine (colour may change)
Kunzite (may lose colour)
Rose Quartz (may become paler)
Smoky Quartz (may lose colour)

If you are using a commercial jewellery cleaner, please follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully and only use the cleaner with stones and metal that has been specified. If you’re unsure, check with the manufacturer or a jeweller before you use the cleaner on your piece.

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